Messaging, one of the number one challenges clients come to us for as a starting point is around messaging. “What do we say about who we are and what we do?” “How do we connect with audiences to make them ‘get us’ and understand our value?” “How do we communicate how we are better and/or different to our competitors?” These are only a few of the questions we are asked around the guise of communication. Communication sounds like a simple topic, but well, it’s actually massive. It’s massive because THE REAL questions underneath all of these that need to be answered clearly, really are: “Who are we?” “What do we do that adds value to people’s lives? “What do people really need, want, desire?” “How are we different?” “Why should anyone care?” These are existential questions which require more than a simple fix. And you need to know the answers to these first before you can communicate powerfully, emotionally and with action-inducing intent. In this upcoming series of Boss Lady Bites, I will break down this topic into snack-sized posts to give quick insights and tips to addressing and framing this huge challenge for businesses.
Common Business Challenge No. 01. – Messaging Part 1.
Who are you?
Boring messages come from a boring you. Look a bit further than your immediate thoughts and you’ll find the glorious you that’s waiting to sing out. Because let’s face it, everyone has the ability to offer something special. If your company is struggling to write compelling messaging, it most likely means you haven’t tapped into “who you really are.” To begin unearthing “who you are,” first look deep inside. Get clear about what you collectively love doing as a company. Ask yourself and your teams: – What motivates you and your team to come to work every day, beyond making money? – What are we, as a group, really good at? – What achievements are we most proud of? Why? Don’t be afraid to ask the darker questions too: – What do we dislike doing as an organisation? – What are we currently doing that we wish we could stop doing? Remember “meaningful is memorable” so let those passionate thoughts flow. This is just the first stage of self-awareness which will be bundled with other components and polished into compelling words and actions to live by. There is no excuse to settle for boring!
Common Business Challenge No. 01. – Messaging Part 2.
What value do we add?
Brand love is not only addictive, it’s also great for the bottom line too! Deep down, we all aim to impact others lives positively and one way we do this is by adding value. How do we know what people value? FIRST, LOOK INSIDE: – Ask your customers what they love about you. – Think about how your offering makes their lives easier, better, happier… – Question how you can alleviate their pain. SECOND, LOOK OUTSIDE: – What are your customer’s pains, risks, obstacles to overcome? – What do they seek to achieve? – What is on their “to do” list? What tasks are they charged with delivering? MATCH’EM UP: Rank how your value saves their day by ordering jobs, pains, and gains from high to low. You just might discover you’re more valuable than you thought. And this value is what you need to prioritise in your messaging. Even better, you can now see how to refine or innovate your offering to provide even more life-saving capabilities. Deeper untapped insights lead to business improvements, innovation, and pots of golden added value.
Common Business Challenge No. 01. – Messaging Part 3.
What do people want?
Connecting to your audience by understanding what makes them tick can be powerfully magnetising. Think about your own personal life. How often after walking away from an enthralling interaction with a person “who really gets me,” do you also think, “I hope I never see them again?” NEVER! You can’t wait to spend more time with them. The same is true in business. When your audience feels understood, when “you’re speaking their language,” they respond by wanting to engage with you more. How do we “get them” then? 1. Tap into your teams at the coal face, who hear detailed feedback. Dig a bit deeper by creating customer surveys, scouring social channels, or have your team interview customers. 2. Hire a professional qual researcher who will probe for underlying logic, emotions, beliefs, and habits of your audience. You will also get less biased and more honest info. This exercise means the difference between bonding with your audience or sacrificing engagement and loyalty. Deep insights also lead to relevant innovation, giving you a massive competitive advantage. We’ll talk more about this another time.
Common Business Challenge No. 01. – Messaging Part 4.
How are we different?
“Being” different originates from having a distinct point of view and strong beliefs about the world, influencing what we want to contribute to it. This is our ‘why’ or purpose. The efforts we take to reach our unique vision are a catalyst for creating and behaving in a differentiated way. For example, we might build unique attributes into our service model; produce unique products that satisfy customer needs like no-one else in the market, or treat our staff in a unique way to encourage them to become ambassadors of our mission. Messaging is simply what we say about what we are doing differently. If you aren’t doing different, then this will severely impact your messaging. Another way to amplify your difference in messaging is through your tone. A verbal brand expression is derived from your values and personality. If these are generic, like “loyalty,” “integrity,” “dependable,” you’ll absolutely sound generic. Remarkable businesses have these pieces nailed. And because all of the ingredients are genuine and interesting, communication is easy because it simply tells the truth! What are you doing differently?